Tuesday notes

Apr 15, 2014 By Steven R. Peck

Calendar counting

Monday was about as close as we're going to get this year to one of those fun calendar numbers like Dec. 12, 2012 -- 12/12/12 -- or Nov. 11, 2011 -- 11/11/11.

Once the century gets into its teen years, they are harder to come by, but Monday gave us April 14, 2014. That's 4/14/14. Not bad.

April (snow) showers

The forecast for 6 inches of snow in the weather forecast for the weekend was a little nerve-wracking, but, as often is the case in the Riverton Valley, the snowfall didn't develop quite as advertised.

Still, Sunday was a definite return to wintry weather for the day, and the week ahead isn't exactly shaping up to be balmy.

When the clouds cleared there obviously was more snow in the mountains, which will further relieve any lingering worries about agricultural and residential water use this summer. But it won't do much to ease minds about flooding, which was at an elevated level of likelihood even before this storm.

Creative reader

In light of the less-than-springy weekend, on today's opinion page we're using an editorial cartoon submitted recently by a reader. The creator's name is Coy Swayze, and the winter re-run over the past few days makes it appropriate.

Moscow calling

President Barack Obama on Monday got his second call in a month's time from Russian boss man Vladimir Putin, during which Putin says he asked Obama to help diffuse the conflict in Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula.

One school of thought is that the calls are nothing but a show for Putin, who just wants to make himself look better while going about the strong-arm business of seizing Crimea.

Another take on it is that he recognizes the mess he has made and really might be looking for a way out. If that's true, it recalls the child who breaks a plate he wasn't supposed to touch, then asks his mother to come and clean it.

Neither hypothesis is good, but the second is less bad than the first. Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee practically roasted Secretary of State John Kerry, with many criticizing him and the Obama administration for too much talk and not enough action. Kerry's response: The Secretary of State is a diplomatic position, and talking is worth the effort if military conflict, either by proxy or flag, is the alternative.

One difference between Kerry's nation and Putin's is that here these discussions -- and disagreements -- take place in public. Some will say it simply emboldens Putin to see the bickering in the United States. Given the alternative, we'll take open conversation and live with both the benefits and the consequences.

Forceful advocate

We're getting another entry this month under the heading "all news is local." The same-sex marriage legal battle has found its way to Wyoming's courts.

One of the people challenging such laws in Wyoming is former Riverton resident Carl Oleson. He grew up in Riverton and later worked at The Ranger in circulation and promotions.

That was many years ago, but we remember him well. Say what you will about the pros and/or cons of same-sex marriage, but this much is fact: The drive to codify it in Wyoming will have a forceful, unafraid, well-informed and persuasive spokesman in Oleson.

How we do it

A couple of local groups have scheduled tours of the newspaper office this month. We always enjoy the tour experience, and we're happy to arrange for a tour almost any day of the week.

Most tour groups are kids, but not always. It's interesting for people of any age to learn more about how the newspaper is made each day -- and if you schedule it right you'll get to see the press running and the big inserting machine doing its thing as well.

Plus, every tour group gets its picture in the paper following the visit.

A lot of different kinds of work go on under one roof at the newspaper office -- more than any other business we can think of, in fact. If your group would like to see for itself, then call 856-2244 to arrange a tour.

April 15

It's income tax day. Our sympathies.

Here's to a good week.

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